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The combination of the reneging of Persian promises, local massacres against Jews, and the prohibition of Jews to live within three miles from the Jerusalem, led to a general disappointment by those who had believed that the redemption was at hand. Benjamin of Tiberius (see 613) was offered amnesty by Heraclius on condition that he convert – which he did. In Tomai Egypt, 375 Jews converted to Christianity possibly voluntarily.

622 MOHAMMED (Arabia)

Fled Mecca. (This journey is known to Moslems as the Hejira.)


Were attacked by Mohammed. There were some twenty Jewish tribes had living in the Hijaz (Western Arabia), for centuries. Legend has it that they were sent by Joshua to fight the Amalakites. Others claim that many of them settled at Yatrib (Yathrib) later known as Medina, after the destruction of the first temple . The majority immigrated to Arabia after the Roman persecutions in Eretz Israel. Some of the tribes worked in agriculture others in crafts like goldsmithing. Two of the tribes (Qurayza and Nadir) considered themselves al kahinan (kohanim) One by one they were either expelled or destroyed for refusing to convert to Mohammedanism. Three of the strongest tribes were known as Banu Nadir (Nadhir), Banu Qaynuqa (Kainuka) and Banu Qurayza (Eruzia).

624 March, BANU QAYNUQA (Yathrib)

Surrendered to Mohammed after 14 day siege. The Banu Qaynuqa (Kainuka) were traders and goldsmiths. Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy one of the chiefs of the Khazraj tribe which was aligned (for the most part) with Mohammed convinced him to expel them rather then kill them. They were forced to leave their belongings and property behind. Eventually they settled in Dera in present day Syria joining the local Jewish community there. Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy is known to Islamists as a Munafiq (hypocrite).


Mohammed demanded that the Jewish tribe contribute ‘blood money’ for two people that were killed by his own (Muslim) troops, the Banu Nadir refused. Consequently Mohammed accused them of plotting against him and besieged them. After 14 days when no promised help arrived, they surrendered to the Moslem army. The Banu Nadir were known for owning some of the most fertile land in the area. They were only allowed to take what they could on their camels. Everything else was confiscated with a significant portion going directly to Mohammed.

625 THEODOSIUS (Eretz Israel)

Commander of the returning Byzantinian army. He promised amnesty to Jews who joined the Persians. He too was greeted by Benjamin of Tiberias.


Decreed that Jews accepting public office had to convert.


An aggadic midrash (written between the 4th and 6th century) appeared predicting that the Messiah would soon appear to free the Jews from their misery.It is extant in two versions a Hebrew one and a Christian (Coptic) one. It also known and the "Apocalypse of Elijah".

627 April, MASSACRE OF THE BANU QURAYZA ( Yathrib/Medina)

After Mohammed's conquest of the Banu-Nadir Jewish tribe, he attacked the Banu- Qurayza (Eruzia). During what was known as the Battle of the Trench at Yathrib, the Jewish tribe had refused to take up sides. Mohammed enraged, ordered Sa'd bin Muadh a devoted follower and one of the chiefs of the Banu Aus (a former alley of the Qurayza), to decided on their fate. Bin Muadh had been mortally wounded in the battle and advised Mohammed to order their conversion or death. The next morning all males 6-800) who had attained puberty were taken out and beheaded . Only 3 or 4 agreed to convert. The women and children were sold into slavery or taken as concubines, many of which were redeemed by the Banu Nadir. One woman, Rayhana bint Zayd was taken personally by Mohammed. According to most sources she refused to convert and as such remained his slave. Years later (c. 1830) Husayn-`Ali Nuri, later known as Baha'u'llah cites the story of the massacre as one of his reasons for leaving Islam and founding the Bahai religion.rnrn


A Jewish warrior from a family of renowned warriors and opponent of Mohammed. According to Arab historians, he died in a duel during an attack on Khaybar.

629 DAGOBERT I(Gaul)

Encouraged by Emperor Heraclius, he expelled all non-converted Jews from Frankish dominions. For the next 150 years, little was heard from any Jewish community there.

629 March 21, BYZANTINE EMPEROR HERACLIUS (Eretz Israel)

Marched into Jerusalem at the head of his army with the support of Jewish inhabitants. The Jews who had previously fought with the Persians against Byzantine rule decided to support him in return for a promise of amnesty. Upon his entry into Jerusalem the local priests convinced him that killing Jews was a positive commandment and that his promise was therefore invalid. Hundreds of Jews were massacred and thousands of others fled to Egypt. Thus, much of the rich Jewish life in the Galilee and Judea came to an end.


Despite the surrender of its Arab allies, the Jewish Khaibar (Khaybar) tribes defended themselves. After a bitter battle, a deal was negotiated whereby half their produce would go to Muhammad and they would be "left in peace". Other Jewish tribes, for example, Fadattr, Tedma, and Magna, concluded similar deals. Safiyya bint Huyayy, daughter of Ḥuyayy ibn Akhṭab, the chief of the Banu Nadir tribe, was captured by Muhammad after her father, brother, and young husband along with most of the tribe were slaughtered. She converted and became one of his wives. The treaty lasted barely 15 years before Omar found a pretense to break it expelling many, but not those related to Safiyya or those who had special treaties. Many of those who left settled in Jericho and the Jordan valley. The Khaibar community itself continued at least to the 10th century.

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